Originally Posted by dsd
Mel can you give me some info were I can find what Dr.Harley recommends for people thay are nt married yet?

Speaking of knowing now what you didn't know then...here's some info NOW that if you follow through with marrying your affair partner and the affair marriage inevitably implodes [most likely she cheats on you with yet another OM or maybe her ex-husband] you CAN NOT say "if I only knew before I married her, what I know now":

Originally Posted by Dr. Harley

I've read through your original question and the responses you've received, and almost to a responder, they are warning you about what happens to relationship that originated as an affair. I have counseled hundreds of these couples and am presently counseling couples that married after an affair, and I can tell you from first-hand experience, and their own unsolicited comments, that if they had put the same effort into their marriages, they would be happily married to their original spouses today.

While it's true that there are happy marriages that start as affairs, they are in the minority. Only about 5% of all affairs end in marriage, and only about 1/3 of those marriages survive the first five years. You probably have one chance in 100 of turning this marriage into a successful relationship, and you're off to a terrible start in spite of your love and commitment.

I have a theory about why marriage after an affair is so unsuccessful, but the fact that they're unsuccessful is well documented. My main contention is that for whatever reasons, those who have affairs tend not to follow one of my cardinal principles for marriage: The Policy of Joint Agreement (never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse). They tend to do what they please without considering each other's feelings. While that may not apply to both members of the relationship, it almost always applies to at least one of them. Your friend's affair with another man in the beginning your your relationship is evidence that she's not thinking about your interests.

I try very hard to keep these marriages together, in spite of the fact that there is such a low probability of success. If I thought I would fail, I wouldn't be wasting my time. And yet, I have had very little success. I keep thinking that I will eventually find a way to succeed.

There are so many obsticles to overcome. In addition to failure to follow the POJA, there is also a marked failure to follow the Policy of Radical Honesty. They tend to be incredibly dishonest, in spite of the fact that they start out thinking they can look right into each other's very souls.

But there is one other issue that is terribly relevant to your situation: Blended families. I read a research report recently that claimed that only 15% of all marriages with children from another relationship survive for 25 years (on average about 50% of all marriages survive for 25 years). Again, from my perspective, the culprit is failure to follow the POJA. Instead of making joint decisions regarding the children, unilateral decisions are made. This ultimately leads to fights and constant turmoil. After the children are grown, however, the conflict does not end. In many cases, advantages continue to be given to children by the natural parent at the expense of the step-parent.

I'm sure that your counselor has been encouraging your wife to negotiate with you so that you can reach a joint agreements regarding her children, but to no avail. And I've experienced the same thing. In spite of a blended family couple's willingness to follow the POJA when I talk to them, when it comes to a decision that will affect the welfare of their children, the commitment is broken.

The advice you have been receiving on the Forum focuses attention on your affair. I've written quite a bit on that topic, and many of the responders have read it. In general, I warn people to avoid an affair because if the very same problems you are facing. And if a vast amount of research and my own professional experience can be trusted, it happens to 99% of those who try to make an affair last.

While it's very unlikely that you will follow my advice because you're in love with "Jane," leaving this relationship, and restoring your relationship with your first wife is the wisest choice. But if you want to know how you can be the 1% that thrives in spite of the obsticles you face, my advice is that you both learn to follow the POJA with every decision you make, including those with the children. If those decisions are made with mutual care, you may be able to figure out how to make the rest of your relationship work.

Best wishes
Willard F. Harley, Jr.

You've been forewarned. What she does WITH YOU she'll do TO YOU.


Under God's Law...once she marries another, her ex-husband will be biblically prohibited from taking her back. He wants her back NOW...he told her "to come home" (which doesn't sound at all like a guy who just up and divorced his wife years ago). It would be best for ALL involved [INCLUDING YOU] if you encouraged her to go back to her husband.

Nobody ever regrets doing the right thing.

Mr. W